B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner | SD: Special Dinner
Day 1 ** Jan 24 | Honolulu – Incheon
We start our vacation by boarding an international flight to Dalian via Incheon. Meals and snacks will be provided on board.
Day 2 ** Jan 25 | Incheon
Arrive at Incheon International Airport. We will stay overnight in Incheon where hotel accommodations will be provided by the airlines.
Day 3 ** Jan 26 | Incheon – Dalian | (L)
Depart for Dalian, China – a beautiful seaside city on the southern tip of Liaodong Peninsula. Upon our arrival we will proceed to immigration & customs. Once we exit customs we will be greeted by an Air & Sea Travel representative. We will check into our hotel and stay overnight.
Day 4 ** Jan 27 | Dalian – Dandong | (B, L, D)
In the morning, we will take a City Tour and visit Tiger Beach, Concert Square and Dalian Port, one of the most important trade harbors in East Asia. After lunch, we will drive to Dandong, the largest border city between China and North Korea and located by Yalu River. Upon our arrival, we will check into our hotel and stay overnight.
Day 5 ** Jan 28 | Dandong | (B, L, D)
Today, we will take a Boat Ride on Yalu River, walk around Yalu River Park, and see Yalu River Broken Bridge. During the boat ride, we can see mysterious North Korea without crossing the border. After lunch, we will visit the most easterly part of the Great Wall of China, the Hushan Great Wall, known to Koreans as Bakjak Fortress. Historically, Dandong was a settlement established to protect the Chinese heartland during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. The identification of Hushan as the eastern terminus of the Great Wall in 2009 was met with skepticism by the Korean academia. They allege that the Chinese renamed it from Bakjak to Hushan, then rebuilt the fortress and identified it with the Great Wall. They also claimed that the Northeast Project of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences aimed to diminish local traces of Goguryeo, the ancient Korean state which Koreans consider to have first built Bakjak (Hushan). Climbing to the top step of the fortress, we will have a grand view of the beautiful scenery of China and North Korea. The day ends with another great Welcome Dinner featuring North Korean Cuisine. To ensure authentic flavors, all the cooking and serving are done by North Koreans. It will be interesting to taste the different foods and enjoy the unique ambience and service.
Day 6 ** Jan 29 | Dandong – Changbai Mt. (Erdaobaihe) | (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will drive to Erdaobaihe – a small town at the foot of Changbaishan Mountain. En route, we will try a local specialty for Lunch – Chun Bing. It is a Chinese burrito made with a flour pancake wrapped around vegetables and meat. The origins of Chun Bing date back to the Jin Dynasty. Northern Chinese would eat this pancake to celebrate the beginning of spring. The literal translation of this dish is “bite the spring.” We will continue our drive to Changbaishan. We will then head to our hot spring resort for tonight. During our stay, feel free to enjoy the hot spring inside the resort. This rejuvenating experience will help reduce insomnia and aid in recovering from fatigue.
Day 7 ** Jan 30 | Changbai Mt. (Erdaobaihe) | (B, L, D)
In the morning, we will go to Changbai Mountain (Changbaishan) North Scenic Area. The Chinese name Changbaishan means Ever-white Mountain. With volcanic mountain lakes, snowcapped peaks, cascading waterfalls, vast ancient forests, hot springs and abundant wildlife, the Changbai Mountain is one of China’s most stunning natural attractions. In this area we will visit the Changbai Mountain’s Heaven Lake (Tianchi), Changbai Mountain Falls, and Hot Spring. Meals in Erdaobaihe are mainly stews and salads. Let’s enjoy the “Land Delicacies Feast” created with vegetables and meats found on the mountain. This kind of feast features ingredients like wild crucian carp, hazel hen, wild boar, clams, and matsutake mushrooms that have high nutritional values.
Day 8 ** Jan 31 | Changbai Mt. – Jilin City | (B, L, D)
Today, we will drive to Jilin, famous for its rimed trees in the winter. Rime Island, also called Wusong Island is only 40 kilometers from Jilin City, but at a lower elevation. This island is completely surrounded by water and is a meeting point for cold air and warmer ocean air. The 6 square kilometer island is often covered with heavy fog that does not evaporate. Today’s lunch features Northeast Braised Bones. After that, we will stop by the Gothic Catholic Church designed by the French. One of its distinctive features is the belfry which has an original European bell that can be heard for several kilometers when mass is held. The large blue stones from the Ashihada area of Jilin Province used in its construction give the exterior of the church a distinctive bluish hue. The church has 16 stone columns and 24 stained glass windows, combining both religious and ethnic themes. In the evening, we have arranged a special Barbecue Dinner.
Day 9 ** Feb 1 | Jilin City – Harbin | (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will pass along the Songhua River and enjoy the beautiful and enchanting Rimed Trees. In the winter, the Songhua River continues to flow through Jilin despite the subfreezing temperature. Steam rises from the river which is located near a hydroelectric plant and freezes when it touches the branches and leaves of the pine and willow trees along the river bank. Layer upon layer of ice encrusted on the tree branches appears transparent and forms breathtaking crystal scenery that never fails to enchant visitors. After lunch, we will drive to Harbin, the city with the most bitter cold winters among major Chinese cities. Harbin is heralded as the Ice City for its well-known winter tourism, recreational activities, and its beautiful ice sculpture festival. Besides being well known for its historical Russian legacy, the city serves as an important gateway in Sino-Russian trade today and has a sizable population of Russian immigrants. The city was voted the “Top Chinese Tourist City” by the China National Tourism Administration in 2004. On June 22, 2010, Harbin was appointed a UNESCO “City of Music” as part of the Creative Cities Network. Tonight’s dinner features local dishes – Northeastern Dumplings. They typically consist of ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled sheet of dough and sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping. They look like the golden ingots used for money in the olden days of China, so serving them is believed to bring wealth.
Day 10 ** Feb 2 | Harbin | (B, L, D)
In the morning, we will visit St. Sophia Church built with timber and completed in March, 1907. The church was part of a plan to strengthen the confidence of the army by building an imposing spiritual symbol. After lunch, we will continue our tour to Heilongjiang Provincial Museum, which has 107,000 items in its collection. Its exhibits include skeletal parts of ancient humans dating back to over 20,000 years ago. The silk fabrics collected in the museum were excavated from tombs of king of Qi State, Jin Dynasty. Huge and complete fossils from prehistoric birds are also on exhibit. It is a great starting point to understand the long history of Heilongjiang. In the evening, we will visit Zhaolin Park, a venue of the well-known Harbin Ice Lantern Art Fair (Harbin Ice Lantern Show), held from January 5 to late February every year. When night comes, the park is filled by resplendence and multicolors of the ice lanterns. The vivid and peculiar ice lanterns are outfitted with modern technology, such as sound, light and automation. The design of ice lanterns includes beautiful sceneries from across the world and marvelous modern and ancient spectacles. Millions of visitors enjoy this supernatural ice and snow world each year, attracted by its reputation as a scenic spot. They marvel at the magnificence of the illuminated ice and snow sculptures and revel in the park as if they were in a fairyland. A Hot Pot Dinner is arranged for tonight’s meal. Hot pot is sometimes known as Chinese fondue or steamboat, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the broth is simmering, ingredients such as thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood are cooked in the pot and then eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter.
Day 11 ** Feb 3 | Harbin | (B, L, D)
One of today’s highlight is the Siberian Tiger Park, the largest breeding center in the world for Siberian tigers, the most endangered species in the world. We will take a bus with wire-mesh protection through the Siberian Tiger Park to see at close quarters about 100 purebred Siberian tigers, who roam freely inside the park. There is also a cage area housing lions, pumas, leopards and ligers.
After lunch, we will visit Sun Island — birthplace of China’s snow sculpture art. Every year it attracts snow sculpture masters from all over the world, and it is considered the world’s biggest Ice & Snow Carnival. Huge snow sculptures are given different meanings, and people can enjoy the snow in many different ways, such as snowmobile and snow golf. In the early evening, we will go to the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. When darkness comes, it’s time to explore the colorfully lit Ice and Snow World. Have fun in the ice labyrinth, ice slide and ice castle–you will find everything imaginable in a fairyland. We will be wowed by all the illuminated full size buildings made from thick crystal clear ice or single blocks of snow. With complex computer-controlled LED systems, these spectacular sculptures light up the city’s night sky.
Day 12 ** Feb 4 | Harbin – Shenzhen | (B, D)
Today we will transfer to the airport and fly to Shenzhen, a major city in Southern China and next to Hong Kong. The biggest event of any Chinese New Year’s Eve is the Reunion Dinner, called “Nian Ye Fan”. This meal is comparable to Thanksgiving dinner in the U.S. and remotely similar to Christmas dinner in other countries with a large Christian population. This evening we will enjoy a special Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner.
Day 13 ** Feb 5 | Shenzhen – Hong Kong | (B)
Kung Hee Fat Choy!! Today is the first day of Chinese New Year, known in modern Chinese as the “Spring Festival”. After breakfast, we will go to Hong Kong. Late this afternoon, we will walk to Tsimshatsui and join the local crowds to celebrate one of the most well known and biggest events of the year, the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade! Our Reserved Seats will provide us a perfect view of the International Parade. As one of the world’s most festive events, the parade is comprised of colorful floats, dragon dancers, celebrities and performers from all over the world.
Day 14 ** Feb 6 | Hong Kong | (B)
The second day of the Chinese New Year, known as “beginning of the year” was when married daughters visited their birth parents, relatives and close friends. Traditionally, married daughters didn’t have the opportunity to visit their families frequently. Today, you can take an optional day excursion to Macau or spend leisure time on your own. The celebration continues tonight with a magnificent Lunar New Year Fireworks Show over Victoria Harbor. We will walk to the harbor waterfront and watch the beautiful Fireworks shooting from the tops of skyscrapers. This fireworks display has been an annual event in Hong Kong since 1982 and has become a Chinese New Year greeting to the citizens.
Day 15 ** Feb 7 | Hong Kong | (B, L)
After breakfast, we will go to Sha Tin Racecourse to see the Traditional Chinese New Year Horse Races. A Private Box is reserved for our group. This is a legalized gambling event and one of the most popular sports in Hong Kong. Enjoy this exciting race and try your luck in the New Year. A Premium Buffet lunch With Complimentary Drinks, Including Wines And Liquors will be provided. You will have a very pleasant and comfortable experience in the balcony private box that offers unparalleled views of the racetrack.
Day 16**Feb 8 | Hong Kong | (B)
Today, you can take an optional day excursion to Lantau Island or spend leisure time on your own. Lantau Island is the largest island in the Hong Kong archipelago, linked to the mainland by the world’s longest two-deck suspension bridge. You can visit the cultural park and village of Ngong Ping 360; experience “Walking with the Buddha,” a chronicle of the life of Siddhartha; browse in the shops before boarding the Ngong Ping Skyrail, a 25-minute cable car ride with stunning views of Hong Kong, Kowloon and Lantau; continue to Po Lin Monastery, a picturesque Buddhist retreat and the world’s largest seated outdoor Buddha; visit Tai O fishing village, where people live much the same as their forebears did over a century ago; or enjoy walking in “Little Venice”: past charming fishing boats, stilt houses, canals and racks hung with drying fish.
Day 17 ** Feb 9 | Hong Kong – Incheon – Honolulu | (B)
Today morning, we will drive to the airport for our return flight home, ending our fantastic tour of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival and Chinese New Year Celebration. We will fly back home via Incheon.
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